Lazarus pill – the magic spreads

2012-09-16 19:00

Johannesburg - Sienie Viljoen would have had no idea 13 years ago that by giving her comatose son a tablet to make him rest better, she’d be initiating a miracle treatment for patients with brain injuries.

City Press reported last month on the remarkable reawakening of Louis Viljoen, who stunned his mother when he emerged from a five-year coma after she gave him a Stilnox sleeping tablet.

After reading that report, Nomfundo Nqinana insisted that her husband’s sceptical doctors give him a tablet a day.

Five days later, he emerged from his seven-year coma, asking for his son.

Now it appears that the pill not only helps those with traumatic brain injuries, but other conditions as well.

A few weeks ago, City Press reported on Dr Cival Mills, who suffers from locked-in syndrome after a crippling brainstem stroke he suffered following a car accident.

He also read the report on the Lazarus pill and turned to Sienie Viljoen’s general practitioner, Dr Wally Nel, for advice on using Stilnox.

He was given half a tablet and after about 40 minutes, spoke for the first time in 11 years.

“Dis ‘n voorreg om te kan praat [It’s a privilege to be able to speak],” he said in a clear voice.

The pill is now helping Mills a great deal to become more focused and to enable him to work for longer without tiring as easily.

“We have long suspected that the pill could be effective for other brain-related conditions as well,” said Professor Ralf Clauss, a neurologist who ­lectured at Medunsa before ­emigrating to the UK.

Motor-neuron disease

He treated Louis Viljoen after he woke from his coma and, ­together with Nel, researched Stilnox’s effects on brain ­injuries.

Last week, Nel told City Press he has had remarkable success with a patient who suffers from motor-neuron disease.

Mossie Mostert was diagnosed with the same fatal disease as rugby star Joost van der Westhuizen.

Nel has been treating him with Stilnox for the last three months, and he is now more mobile and has his sense of humour back.

“Not only has taking the pill improved his condition, it also seems the degenerative effect of the condition has been halted. It is unheard of,” said Nel.

Clauss and Nel believe that the pill works by waking up dormant brain tissue.

Not all cells die off in an area where an injury occurs. Some cells become dormant and Stilnox somehow reactivates them, improving brain function.


“The pill works even decades after an injury”, says Clauss, adding that he and Nel have been studying the pill’s effects on patients with cerebral palsy with remarkable results.

Stilnox also appears to work on those with paralysis. Nel treated swimmer Ryk Neethling’s sister Elsje with the pill. She had childhood cancer and one of her legs was paralysed.

“She can now walk without crutches,” he says.

Another who read the City Press report was a paraplegic man from Pretoria North who can now move his legs slightly whenever he takes Stilnox.

Both Nel and Clauss warn, however, that much research still needs to be done on the pill’s effects.

  • lynette.hugo - 2012-09-16 15:36

    Dit is ook die duiwel se smarties vir junkies

      catgirl1971 - 2012-09-16 20:11

      Lynette Hugo, if u have nothing intelligent to say, SHUT YOUR MOUTH!

      seanrossouwslr - 2012-09-16 20:23

      I don't get where all the hate is coming from. Stillnox does have an ability to be abused, and acts almost the same way as benzodiazepines. It has drug-drug interactions with alcohol and other CNS depressants, and can cause addiction. All of that is tested fact. As far as I know "Die duiwel se smarties" is just a figure of speech often used when describing addictive drugs, but I may be wrong as Afrikaans is not my strong point. Regardless, why post such a hateful comment in reply to a colloquial statement of fact? It may be a bit irrelevant when discussing the new found benefits, yes, but does it really deserve a reply like that?

      sandra.johnstone.56 - 2012-09-16 20:28

      I also take Stilnox to help me sleep, but my doctor said I should never take more than a half a tablet, max 2 or 3 times a week, because it is highly addictive.

      renata.stoop - 2012-09-16 21:26

      Het nou verkeerd gepost maar in elk geval. @lynette.hugo ... my seuntjie het cerebral palsy en ek belowe jou as dit enigsins my kind kan help sal ek met die grootste liefde die "duiwel se smarties" vir hom gee.

      boltonbarry - 2012-09-16 23:07

      Lynette. Ek dink jy moet van hierdie pille gebruik. Die plaas water wat jy drink het duidelik 'n negatiewe impak op jou brein om helder denke van jou brein na jou mond te stuur

      magda.myburgh2 - 2012-09-17 08:50

      Sjoe gain op jou knie en se dankie vir jou God jy het nie die pille nodig nie! Bly om te hoor dit gaan baie goed met jou! Wees dankbaar \smartie\

  • sihlangu.hokweni - 2012-09-16 19:17

    Is this pill easily available?

  • mpendulo.dlamini.18 - 2012-09-16 19:18

    why did she give him a pill to help him sleep better if he was in a coma, either there's is some bad reporting in the second paragraph or there is a rat heavy in smell lying in that box

      dalene.walt - 2012-09-16 19:27

      A person still gets very restless if they are in a coma, she gave it to him to be more calm.

      jeffrey.d.walker.9 - 2012-09-16 20:13

      All drugs have strange side effects, and this is just a side effect of Stilnox, there's no rocket science involved.

  • Rodney - 2012-09-16 19:22

    is the second time i read about stilnox lazarus pill. Pls i had a problem with long headache for 5years now. I went to various doctors and went to ct scan, brain scanning. Thy found nothing. Pls help: 0767191170. I have madical aid.

      gideon.nel - 2012-09-16 19:44

      Rodney, go to the Headache Clinic in Johannesburg 45 Empire Road Johannesburg 2193 011 482 2113

      phillip.cwazibe - 2012-09-16 20:14

      I also suffered headaches for years. A young doctor then suggested use of allergex together with pain killers. I have never had a headaches since then.

      Rodney - 2012-09-16 20:56

      tankie, and thnks tomorow first wil cheak with the physio and uk man thank u.

      lisamareegroves - 2012-09-17 00:12

      Hi Rodney, some thinks Hocus Pocus, but could maybe be an option.... Have you seen a Reflexologist or Acupuncturist? Some people I know has definitely benefitted from these treatments. STRONGS I know it's not lekker in any way what so ever. =(

  • fanie.gerber1972 - 2012-09-16 19:32

    ...the penny just dropped - a couple of years ago I injured my back - nerve was pinched - caused lot of problems for a few years, then I was treated for insomnia with stilnox...~ 5 years ago.....symptoms started to clear up...

  • johan.jacobs.5680 - 2012-09-16 19:36

    Very strange, the reverse effect of this medication,something to keep scientists busy for a while.However very good news ,for the braindamaged.

      nicolaas.baker - 2012-09-16 20:40

      @Johan, maybe, just maybe, this will work on our idiots of a govament?

      emilyjane.elson - 2012-09-17 08:59

      First of all they have to have something for it to work on like a brain??

      merven.halo - 2012-09-17 13:09

      ''However very good news ,for the braindamaged.'' Don't let Malema read this, shhhtt!

  • gregor.schmitz1 - 2012-09-16 19:41

    anybody tried this against alzheimer's -possibly due to vascular obstruction? Any doctors trying this already? perhaps Stilnox works like alcohol does on many people, first makes you more tired and 5h-8h later the brain counter balances this and overcompensates, and one cannot sleep anymore. So maybe Stilnox puts brain to sleep the brain chemicals try to counter balances this, overshoop and wakes up parts of the brain, that have been dormant for a long time.

  • hannah.p.mostert - 2012-09-16 19:49

    Love these discoveries by accident, especially when then they can be so beneficial to so many, well done!

  • evanknowles - 2012-09-16 19:52

    By reawakening dormant brain cells? Zombies much?

  • monde.sibisi - 2012-09-16 19:52

    Remarkeable this is trully a great discovery

  • magda.myburgh2 - 2012-09-16 20:04

    I would like to know and this is a big worry for me been on stillnox 12,5mg for a good 2 years now why after a good 3-4 hours wide awake again! Just wondering!

      emilyjane.elson - 2012-09-17 09:00


  • pwhanekom - 2012-09-16 20:18

    Bad reporting, BUT the REAL DEAL. The story of Louis Viljoen was on Carte Blanche a few years back. Further research is currently underway in both Britain and USA.

  • louise.cook.127 - 2012-09-16 20:50

    Popular sleeping pill Stilnox in danger of being classed with morphine, narcotics and amphetamines Published on January 22, 2008 at 3:08 AM A popular sleeping pill that has reportedly triggered bizarre side-effects in some people, could be placed by Australian drug regulators into the same class as morphine, narcotics and amphetamines. Stilnox, a prescription drug which is currently a schedule 4 drug in Australia, could become a class 8 drug, which will mean that those who access it will be strictly monitored. The decision will rest with the National Drugs and Poisons Schedule Committee (NDPSC) which meets in February. Reports of bizarre and potentially dangerous behaviour being triggered by some who have taken the drug in Australia, the U.S. and the UK have prompted the call for the re-classification. Some Stilnox users claim to have no memory of crashing cars, having "sleep sex", fighting and binge-eating while they were apparently asleep.

  • nico.leroux1 - 2012-09-17 04:01

    Ah! Charles Montague Fryer. Finally you emerged!

  • keneoemosiuoa.kenny - 2012-09-17 05:47

    This is quite a relief for those who are suffering from stroke. Thanx to the Stilnox pill and the scientists for inventing it.

  • jeremyjja - 2012-09-17 09:31

    This can help people i know!

  • domonique2 - 2012-09-17 10:25

    i take these meds, cause of sleeping issues!!! lynette , i understand where you are coming from but your comment is out of place and offensive, if you feel this strongly about addiction i hope you pray as hard as you post comments.

      merven.halo - 2012-09-17 13:10

      And prayer is going to help how?

  • colin.langley - 2012-11-27 11:49

    When we should be celebrating there will always be religious idiots and stupid comments from racists...good god man...shut up and f off to the beeld or something!

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